Wave Makers

Wave Makers

A refreshing Taiwanese political drama, with just the right balance of intensity and humor

The Very Best


TV Show

Chen Yan-Fei, Gingle Wang, Hsieh Ying Shiuan
50 min

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It might not go deep into certain political issues, but the show shines when these personally affect the campaign team.

What it's about

Aiming to oust the current president in the upcoming elections, the campaign team of fictional Justice Party deal with PR issues, media coverage and political strategy for their presidential candidate Yueh-chen Lin.

The take

Capturing the craziness of a political campaign, Wave Makers portrays a behind-the-scenes look of a fictional campaign team as they work to get their party elected. While branded as a political drama, the Taiwanese Netflix series focuses on the dynamics of its team members, starting with their day-to-day work – how they deal with on-the-spot PR issues, budget cuts, and negotiations – and ending the first episode with the personal issues that affect them, such as work-life balance, career growth, and personal revenge. Focusing on the team makes for an interesting approach in portraying how the personal affects the political, and the show easily balances these two through its well-written sequences and careful direction. It’s no wonder it’s already inspired a #MeToo wave in Taiwan.

What stands out

A show like this, especially as it tackles issues like immigration, homophobia, and workplace harassment, can get serious. When not handled carefully in a show, these issues can feel like overdone cliches just inserted for the drama. However, because the show is primarily focused on the lives of their campaign staff, both professional and personal, these political issues actually have certain stakes and consequences that immediately affect the characters. The show also takes the time to actually challenge the characters to act in accordance with the principles they advocate for. And on top of this, they’re able to tackle certain issues with humor when they can, such as the silly sea turtle skit they made to protest BPA plastic policy. The show is able to keep a balanced tone, knowing precisely when to get serious and when to get lighthearted.

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